Jeremy Basset: How Unilever Plans to Engage with Social Entrepreneurs to Accelerate its Sustainable Living Plan


By Jeremy Basset, Head of Unilever Foundry

 

Through the Unilever Foundry, social impact businesses can engage with Unilever to access mentorship, explore partnership opportunities and receive funding. In the same way that we help entrepreneurs in the digital marketing space go from start-up to scale-up, we’re now looking to bring those capabilities to the forefront to help social entrepreneurs scale-up their impact and ideas. 

 

Unilever is committed to sustainable living and the Transform initiative is our latest project to focus on delivering this goal.

 

The Transform initiative is a result of a partnership between the UK’s Department for International Development, the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership and Unilever – with the aim to create jobs, increase incomes and improve the health and wellbeing of 100 million people in developing countries by 2025, in support of the Global Goals.

 

The Transform initiative will fund and support a series of business and research projects to create;

  • Transformative, and financially viable, social businesses
  • Research that informs how businesses can deliver more effective behaviour change

 

Through the Unilever Foundry, various challenges will be posted and social entrepreneurs or researchers operating in the relevant categories and geographies will be invited to submit their solutions, for the chance to receive technical and operational support and grant funding up to £250,000 to develop their ideas and take them forward.

 

Transform challenge categories are focussed around Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and Energy solutions for low income households in developing countries. They include:

  • Early-stage, business solutions (including novel distribution models) to meet WASH and Energy needs for low-income households
  • Mobile and/or digital technologies within financially sustainable business models that meet low-income household needs around WASH and Energy
  • Research into various areas of behavior change related to delivery of WASH and Energy solutions in low income households and communities

 

The Transform programme partners will engage with the winning project teams in a collaborative process to provide technical and operational support and investment to help develop and prove the potential of their ideas for impact at scale.

 

Find out more and apply for the current challenges here: https://foundry.unilever.com/brightfuture/transform. The deadline for all application is 11:59 (GMT) on 22nd January 2016.

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